Yeah, I get your point. It’s not easy to find a proper solution to this problem.
Maybe make Garmin connect only work IF you have a device registered? Make it a subscription model and throw a 12-month free voucher in every device box? Or accept that a few people would use your service free of charge?
Don’t get me wrong. I really like Garmin.
Right now I’m exercising with an Instinct Solar and Garmin didn’t deem it fit for the training load metric - not because of hardware limitations but to protect the rest of their line.
To elaborate on my personal user experience:
The goal is to have a cheaper watch for work which still provides me with some 24/7 metrics and to switch to a more high end model for training and personal use. If I commute by bike or run to work, my “cheap” watch will not provide all the metrics to give me the full picture at the end of the day. I strongly feel that this problem needs to be eliminated.
Fringe problem? Sure.
One other point to consider: If you move the whole calculation into the cloud, you won’t get the metrics during your offline adventures. Or both, cloud and watch, would need to have this functionality.